Getting outdoors is one of life’s joys, but if you can explore and broaden your horizons in new countries, it’s even more fulfilling.
Timbuktu has picked out its favourite locations across Europe for short breaks and an abundance of activities. From hiking to skiing, these destinations are perfect all-year-round, with many undiscovered compared to other more popular resorts.
Of course, each has its own unique natural beauty - which is why we shoot there! - that will set your social media off and connect you to nature.
Read on to discover our favourite European outdoor escapes and the Timbuktu clothing to match…
Slovenia is a gem in the heart of Europe that’s come through its rough history to become one of the continent’s independent success stories.
Still largely hidden compared to other countries, Slovenia offers everything you can think of for a small nation tucked between the Alps and the Adriatic - hiking, climbing, skiing, rowing and more. Pretty soon you’ve discovered a little-known paradise and fallen in love with it.
Among all its cities and landmarks, however, Bled and its stunning lake is the picture-perfect outdoor activity centre.
In the heart of the Triglav National Park and not far from the mountain itself, Bled is a photographer’s dream with Bled Island in the centre of the lake and its church atop it. Campsites, hostels and hotels make this a tourist hotspot, but with Bohinj and Kranjska Gora on its doorstep for skiing, Bled is a culture and activity hub you have to visit.
Austria is famed for its outdoor activity opportunities and winter sports while being largely overlooked as a tourist destination.
Whatever the season, Austria caters to your every need when it comes to getting outside. Hiking, climbing and cycling are popular throughout spring, summer and early autumn before the snow sport season arrives. Look beyond Vienna and discover a beautiful country.
Despite its famed capital, to discover the true Austria, you need to head to the mountains and lakes, and nowhere does better than Hallstatt and its beautiful lakeside village.
Nestled between Salzburg and Graz, Hallstatt almost spills over into Lake Hallstatt, such is its location on the steep slopes of the Hoher Dachstein mountain. The beauty of the 16th-century buildings is matched by the glorious surroundings - which is why it’s so popular for the Instagram generation. Even better in winter, Hallstatt is a hiker’s must-see paradise.
Italy may be known for its lakes, but its mountains are just as awe-inspiring with the stunning Dolomites, which form part of the Alps.
With such a vast country and varied climate, Italy welcomes outdoor adventurers throughout the entire year for walking, cycling, skiing and much more. The north of the country is similar, without the soaring temperatures in summer. Away from the cities, Italy has so much to offer.
With much of the country’s destinations being cities or the lakes, Italy’s mountain retreats can be overlooked, and Trentino is heralded for its all-year outdoor activities.
In the northeast of the country and close to the highest peak among the Dolomites, Trentino and its capital, Trento, combine the perfect blend of outdoors and culture. Climbing, cycling, hiking and snow sports are all possible in this stunning part of Italy. Whether you’re going hardcore with your activities or taking things more leisurely, Trentino has something for everyone.
Germany is well-known for its culture and history but its nature and outdoor activities, especially the Black Forest, are overlooked by tourists.
Germany’s size leads to a climate that varies throughout the year, extreme highs in summer and large snowfall in winter are common. The south of the country reflects this, but its alpine landscape ensures comfortable summers. For the outdoors, Germany is a hidden gem.
While Garmish may be Germany’s most well-known location for outdoor sports after hosting professional events, Hechingen provides a stunning gateway to nature and activities.
Tucked away in the southwest of Germany, between Stuttgart, and Lake Constance, Hechingen offers outdoor beauty of the Swabian Alps and culture with the Hohenzollern Castle. This is a gorgeous, largely undiscovered, part of Germany that is the perfect outdoor retreat where you can hike or cycle. If you want real Germany, this is the place.
Schmitten & Filisur, Switzerland
Switzerland is known the world over for its majestic landscapes that make it perfect for outdoor activities and its incredible rail journeys through the mountains.
For a smaller country, Switzerland has a mix of alpine climates that bring cooler summers, and cold snowy winters. This contrasts with a Mediterranean climate on its southern tip that brings warm and humid summers. This is a country driven towards outdoor pursuits.
There are many Swiss locations known for their culture or unique city vibes, like Zurich or Graz, but for witnessing nature, Filisur and Schmitten are special with their own USP.
In Switzerland’s Graubünden region, and close to the classic winter resort of St Moritz and Davos, Filisur and Schmitten combine stunning alpine beauty with engineering. The famous Landwasser Viaduct sits between the two on the World Heritage-listed Albula Railway. You can take in the mountains from the Bernina and Glacier Expresses after days of activity.
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